Huppert, Dolan and Daniel Blake score at Césars

First film Divines takes three awards

by Richard Mowe

Isabelle Huppert with her best actress César for Elle: 'Perhaps I got noticed because I am practically in every frame'
Isabelle Huppert with her best actress César for Elle: 'Perhaps I got noticed because I am practically in every frame' Photo: Academie des Césars

Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert won best actress award at the 42nd edition of the French Oscars, the Césars in Paris last night (February 24), 21 years after she won the award previously for Claude Chabrol’s La Cérémonie. Paul Verhoeven’s film was named best picture. Elle was nominated in 11 categories.

Verhoeven paid tribute to Huppert, saying she had brought an “extra dimension to the role” which he had not expected when they started work. Huppert, looking radiant in an emerald green evening gown, suggested that she had got noticed in the film “because I am practically in every frame”.

The youthful Quebec film-maker Xavier Dolan was a surprise recipient of the best director and editing awards for It’s Only The End Of The World which also brought Gaspard Ulliel a best actor prize. Dolan accepted his award as well because the actor was detained in Prague where he is shooting The Death And Life Of John F Donovan.

The UK film industry scored with a win for Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake in the best foreign film category.

The much-touted and admired Divines by first time director Houda Benyamina had a tally of best first film, best actress in a supporting role for Déborah Lukumuena and best female newcomer for Oulaya Amamra.

There was a poignant moment when the award for best original screenplay was given to The Aquatic Effect by Solveig Anspach and Jean-Luc Gaget. Anspach died in 2015 aged 54 after a battle with cancer. The Iceland-born writer-director was a graduate of La Femis in Paris and Gaget received the prize without his much-loved collaborator, whose daughter was at the ceremony.

The Oscar nominated animation film My Life As A Courgette won two awards - for adapted screenplay by Celine Sciamma and for best animation for its director Claude Barras.

Best film

Best director

Best original screenplay

  • WINNER: Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget for The Aquatic Effect
  • Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina and Malik Rumeau for Divines
  • Sabrina Karine, Alice Vial, Pascal Bonitzer and Anne Fontaine for The Innocents
  • Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay
  • Justine Triet for Victoria

Best adapted screenplay

Best actress

  • WINNER: Isabelle Huppert - Elle
  • Judith Chemla - A Woman's Life (Une Vie)
  • Marion Cotillard - From The Land Of The Moon (Mal De Pierres)
  • Virgine Efira - Victoria
  • Marina Foïs - Irréprochable
  • Sidse Babett Knudsen - 150 Milligrams (La Fille De Brest)
  • Soko - The Dancer (La Danseuse)

Best actor

  • WINNER: Gaspard Uliel - It's Only The End Of The World (Juste La Fin Du Monde)
  • François Cluzet - Irreplaceable (Médecin De Campagne)
  • Pierre Deladomchamps - A Kid (Le Fils De Jean)
  • Nicolas Duvauchelle - A Decent Man (Je Ne Suis Pas Un Salaud)
  • Fabrice Luchini - Slack Bay (Ma Loute)
  • Pierre Niney - Frantz
  • Omar Sy - Chocolat

Best female newcomer

  • WINNER: Oulaya Amamra - Divines
  • Paula Beer - Frantz
  • Lily-Rose Depp - The Dancer (La Danseuse)
  • Noémie Merlant - Heaven Will Wait (Le Ciel Attendra)
  • Raph - Slack Bay (Ma Loute)

Best male newcomer

  • WINNER: Niels Schneider - Dark Inclusion (Diamant Noir)
  • Corentin Fila - Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans)
  • Damien Bonnard - Staying Vertical (Rester Vertical)
  • Karey Mottet Klein - Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans)
  • Jonas Bloquet - Elle

Best supporting actor

  • WINNER: James Thierrée - Chocolat
  • Vincent Lacoste - Victoria
  • Melvil Poupaud - Victoria
  • Laurent Lafitte - Elle
  • Gabriel Arcand - A Kid (Le Fils De Jean)
  • Vincent Cassel - It's Only The End Of The World (Juste La Fin Du Monde)

Best supporting actress

Best animation feature

  • WINNER: My Life As A Courgette (Ma Vie De Courgette) - Claude Barras
  • The Girl Without Hands (La Jeune Fille Sans Mains) - Sébastien Laudenbach
  • The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge) - Michael Dudok de Wik

Best first film

  • WINNER: Divines - Houda Benyamina
  • Cigarettes Et Chocolat Chaud - Sophie Reine
  • The Dancer (La Danseuse) - Stéphanie di Giusto
  • Dark Inclusion (Diamant Noir) - Arthur Harari
  • Rosalie Blum - Julien Rappeneau

Best documentary

  • WINNER: Thanks Boss! (Merci Patron!) - François Rufin
  • Latest News From The Cosmos (Dernières Nouvelles Du Cosmos) - Julie Bertucelli
  • Fire At Sea (Fuocammare, Par-delà Lampedusa) - Gianfranco Rosi
  • Swagger - Olivier Babinet
  • A Journey Through French Cinema - Bertrand Tavernier

Best foreign film

Best original score

  • WINNER: Ibrahim Maalouf for In the Forests of Siberia
  • Gabriel Yared for Chocolat
  • Anne Dudley for Elle
  • Philippe Romi for Frantz
  • Sophie Hunger for My Life as a Courgette

Best sound

  • WINNER: Marc Engles, Fred Demolder, Sylvain Rety, Jean-Paul Hurier for The Odyssey
  • Brigitte Taillandier, Vincent Guillon, Stephane Thiebaut for Chocolat
  • Jean-Paul Mugel, Alexis Place, Cyril Holtz, Damie Lazzerini for Elle
  • Martin Boissau, Benoit Gargonne, Jean-Paul Hurier for Frantz
  • Jean-Pirre Duret, Sylvain Malbrant, Jean-Pierre Laforce for From The Land Of The Moon

Best editing

Best cinematography

Best costumes

Best animated short

  • WINNER: Celui Qui a Deux Ames
  • Cafe Froid
  • Journal Anime
  • Peripheria

Best short film TIE

  • WINNER:Mamans
  • WINNER:Vers la Tendresse
  • After Suzanne
  • Au Bruit des Clochettes
  • Chasse Royale

Special lifetime achievement César to Jean-Paul Belmondo

Special honorary César George Clooney and Amal Clooney Cesar of honour

Share this with others on...
News

Alpine retreat Hendrik Faller on dangerous terrain, shooting in snow, and Mountain Fever

Hollywood royalty Fernando Trueba on Penélope Cruz and The Queen Of Spain

Back to school for a class act Lessons in learning from Angel and Forestier

NYFF Spotlight on Documentary selections announced Mathieu Amalric, Barbet Schroeder and Vanessa Redgrave among directors with work to screen

Wiseman, Sang-soo and Abramovich head to San Sebastian Directors join Zabaltegi-Tabakalera competition

More news and features

We're looking forward to Frightfest, the Deauville Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival.



We've recently been covering the Fantasia film festival in Montreal, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival



Read our full for recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.